Homeadults with learning disabilitiesAre Workplaces Realizing the Benefits of Dyslexia and Autism?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a fan of stories involving intrigue, mystery and conspiracy. They are just a lot of fun. What can I say?
So, when I came across this article on Mail Online, my curiosity was piqued.
The article talked about how British officials sought out dyslexic individuals as code breakers because of their talent of making unorthodox connections and recognizing hard to spot patterns.
I’ve gotta admit, when I went to those career fairs high school students went to, code breaking was not included in the options given. I can’t say as I’ve ever thought about pursuing that particular line of business, though I’ve always found it interesting.
The most I knew about it was how members of the Navajo nation were employed by the US government during World War II to send and receive coded messages.
It does make sense that dyslexics could be very good at that occupation, though. The article highlights how important it is to look past preconceptions to see an individual’s true talent.
That makes sense both in the business and the public world. Actually, I think it makes the most sense in the business world. How can you expect to make any sort of profit when you don’t use the resources available to you efficiently?
Although the employees may need accommodations, like computer software or a quiet workspace, it only makes sense that the health and well-being of your employees dictates how well they perform their assigned tasks.
Businesses like Cosco and IKEA are both very good examples of how treating employees well translates into healthy profits. I don’t know how well they accommodate employees with disabilities, but I do know that overall a treat their workers very well.
Before started this blog, I’ve had a number of jobs, and I’m afraid that I did not enjoy vast majority of them. Some jobs got to the point of making me physically ill. Looking back, I realize that a lot of my difficulties stemmed from various parts of my dyslexia, though I couldn’t spot that at the time.
I do not regret taking them because no experience is wasted when you can take lessons from it.
The British government is not alone in recognizing the strengths of those in the neurodiversity community.
Companies like SAP, from Germany, and Freddie Mac, from the US, have come to recognize the benefits of having a neurodiverse workplace, too. In this article on the Daily News webpage, these two companies are highlighted as seeking out workers on the autism spectrum. They know that the intense focus that tends to come with autism can be a great asset. The social environment may be a challenge for all involved, but with the right education and accommodations, there’s no reason why bumps cannot be smoothed over.
Unfortunately, I have the feeling that employers like the ones mentioned this entry are very much in the minority. When it comes to job hunting, it is still very much an employer’s market, and the prevalence of stigma and lack of overall neurological education in our culture can make it even harder to find work.
Then again, I suppose that also depends on the type of resume that you have and the job you’re applying for. Dyslexia, autism and other types of neurology, have their own benefits, which could all be applied to any type of workplace. The key is portraying them in the right light for the position you’re going for.
In any case, the fact that there are some companies and organizations that are finally catching on that being different can be a wonderful asset, does bring hope.
Although it hasn’t always been this way, every household still needs some sort of income to survive. In the end, it’s up to each individual to decide whether they want to disclose their neurological status on the resume or during the initial interviews.
It is kind of neat to think that there are career opportunities available to those of us in the neurological minority, though. It’s even cooler that it’s not because of some hyper-politicized bid for increased workplace diversity, but because of common talents we share with others of similar wiring.

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